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It's official - Women's groups save lives

An important World Health Organisation (WHO) Policy Guide confirms that our model of participatory women’s groups to share information in communities saves lives and is cost-effective. The Policy Guide, published by WHO and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, has concluded that evidence gathered when testing the effectiveness of our community-based women’s groups is a useful contribution to global policy on community mobilization and health education. 

Women’s groups have been demonstrated to reduce the chances of a mother dying during pregnancy by 49% and of newborn babies dying by 33%. Women’s groups are also cost-effective, as judged by WHO standards. We can achieve these results providing that at least 30% of pregnant women in our project areas attend a women’s group and there is one women’s group per 500 total population. 

This shows how essential it is that we can run women’s groups in sufficient numbers to reach as many pregnant women as possible in the areas in which we work. If we were to achieve that target in all of the 75 countries where the highest numbers of pregnant women and newborn babies die, then the research results suggests that 41,100 mothers and 283,000 newborn babies could be saved each year.

This is a ringing endorsement for our approach, its success measures and its cost-effectiveness. Please help us scale up our proven, cost-effective model so we can play a bigger part in saving the 41,100 mothers and 283,000 babies that needn’t die.

Further reading

The full title of the publication is A Policy Guide for Implementing Essential Interventions for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH): A Multisectoral Policy Compendium for RMNCH. It was composed from a series of consultations with networks of partners working on policies that affect women, children and adolescents. It is intended to provide evidence for discussions on policies to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and support integrated planning of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health programmes.

One of our trustees Professor Anthony Costello, a leading authority on maternal and newborn health has written an article: Womens groups incorporated in global policy giving more detail on the Policy Guide and its significance for Women and Children First.

Women's groups recommended by WHO as an intervention to cut newborn deaths

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a Recommendation regarding the “women’s groups” intervention which is at the core of Women and Children First’s work with its partners in Africa and Asia. 

Women and Children First has been developing and applying the women’s groups approach with its partners and UCL researchers for over ten years and is delighted that the WHO has made this Recommendation as it represents an acknowledgement at the highest global level that women’s groups are a valuable contribution for improving maternal and newborn health.   The Recommendation will also encourage other players to adopt the methodology which was developed and tested in Bangladesh, India, Malawi and Nepal.

The Recommendation states:

  • Implementation of community mobilisation through facilitated participatory learning and action cycles with women’s groups is recommended to improve maternal and newborn health, particularly in rural settings with low access to health services.
  • Implementation of facilitated participatory learning and action cycles with women’s groups should focus on creating a space for discussion where women are able to identify priority problems and advocate for local solutions for maternal and newborn health.

The WHO Guideline for the Recommendation states that the recommendation is "strong" for newborn health and reports that the guideline development group says that intervention can be seen as applying human rights and community participation principles, which are considered to be fundamental components of WHO’s maternal and newborn health strategies. The Guideline contains more detailed comments on considerations to be taken into account for implementation, the political and social context and specific local factors that might be relevant to implementation. 

Women and Children First believes this intervention should be scaled up in areas with the highest maternal and neonatal mortality rates and its current and future programmes will endeavour to do this.  Women and Children First welcomes support from stakeholders, donors and other players to achieve this aim.

 

 

10/07/2014: Women's groups recommended by WHO as an intervention to cut newborn deaths

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a Recommendation regarding the “women’s groups” intervention which is at the core of Women and Children First’s work with its partners in Africa and Asia. 

Women and Children First has been developing and applying the women’s groups approach with its partners and UCL researchers for over ten years and is delighted that the WHO has made this Recommendation as it represents an acknowledgement at the highest global level that women’s groups are a valuable contribution for improving maternal and newborn health.   The Recommendation will also encourage other players to adopt the methodology which was developed and tested in Bangladesh, India, Malawi and Nepal.

The Recommendation states:

• Implementation of community mobilisation through facilitated participatory learning and action cycles with women’s groups is recommended to improve maternal and newborn health, particularly in rural settings with low access to health services.

• Implementation of facilitated participatory learning and action cycles with women’s groups should focus on creating a space for discussion where women are able to identify priority problems and advocate for local solutions for maternal and newborn health.

The WHO Guideline for the Recommendation states that the recommendation is "strong" for newborn health and reports that the guideline development group says that intervention can be seen as applying human rights and community participation principles, which are considered to be fundamental components of WHO’s maternal and newborn health strategies. The Guideline contains more detailed comments on considerations to be taken into account for implementation, the political and social context and specific local factors that might be relevant to implementation. 

Women and Children First believes this intervention should be scaled up in areas with the highest maternal and neonatal mortality rates and its current and future programmes will endeavour to do this.  Women and Children First welcomes support from stakeholders, donors and other players to achieve this aim.  

 

UN says Millennium Development Goals for maternal and child health are not being met

Women and Children First’s Chief Executive, Ros Davies, comments on the latest UN report on the Millennium Development Goals

The 2014 Millenium Development Goal (MDG) Report shows that the likelihood of achieving the global targets to reduce maternal and child deaths agreed in 2000 is "slipping away".

Although there has been significant progress towards achieving the eight MDGs and reducing poverty in the past 14 years, the UN urges governments to intensify efforts on areas where little or no improvement had been made in the final months before the MDGs’ 2015 deadline.  All the goals related to women – gender equality and reducing maternal and child deaths – are the most off track. 

Read more...

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Your chance to grab some amazing items and help stop mothers and babies from dying needlessly.

We are taking part in the Small Charities Week auction and have had a fantastic response from our trustees for donations of items to sell. You can choose between:

A luxury holiday in the south of France

A VIP tour of the House of Lords

A signed ARCHERS script 

A professional photography portrait by Sam Strickland, an international photographer and film director

Or view all our items in the eBay Small Charity Week auction.

 

We won the Give@Checkout competition

We were delighted to win the Small Charities Week Give@Checkout competition. This means that until Monday 23 June we are one of four charities that appear at the eBay checkout asking purchasers if they want to round up their purchase donating the additional change to us. 

If you are buying anything on eBay please do choose to round up your purchase and donate to us. If we don't appear at the charity of choice at the checkout initially you can wait a few minutes and refresh your browser until we do - it doesn't take long! 

This is a fantastic opportunity for us to raise some much needed funds to help pregnant women survive pregnancy.

 

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If you are selling items on eBay then please link to our eBay profile and ask people to support us while they are making their purchases.

 

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Last year, with your help, we saved 5,000 mothers and their babies.

Please help us do the same again this year by joining our Cherish Another Mother campaign.

Make a donation in the name of the mother in your life who you cherish. Read more.